Covey had previously ruled that Frederick Ramirez was not eligible to run for the seat.
“Judge Covey’s decision places political parties in an impossible position when it comes to dealing with ballot challenges, and deprives the voters of the 197th of their right to a fair choice on the ballot on March 21,” Adam Bonin, the lawyer for the Democratic Party in the case, said to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Democratic Party immediately filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.
If the ruling stands, Republican Lucinda Little will be the only candidate on the ballot on the 21st.
“We are optimistic that we can take this seat and show voters in the 197th what it really means to be democratically represented by somebody who cares,” Little said in a statement released after the ruling.
The district is 85% Democratic by registration and 5% Republican. Democrats say they can win the seat even if the ruling stands.
“We are confident that if it comes to a write-in campaign, we will be able to win,” Nathan Davidson, Executive Director for the House Democratic Campaign Committee told PoliticsPA.
Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala is also running a write-in campaign.
The seat was vacated when Democratic Rep. Leslie Acosta resigned in January after pleading guilty to federal charges related to embezzlement.